FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Swan Song of the Democrats

by MIKE WHITNEY

 

The Democrats did us all a favor by giving Bush his Iraq war-money. After all, the Dems have supported the war from the get-go; so why not expose them as the hypocrites they really are?

The truth is, no one is really surprised by Friday’s vote. We have one party in America”the War Party—the Dems are merely a junior partner in that system.

It boggles the mind that so many so-called “liberals” continue to be hoodwinked by the Democratic Party. After all, what do they offer—a slight boost in the hourly wage? Better management of foreign massacres?!?

But, what else? The Democrats are even giving ground on a women’s “right to choose”, which, up until now, had been their one defining issue. Now even that is eroding.

So, what do the Democrats really stand for?

This is not the party of F.D.R., my friend. This is the party of Bill Clinton, the Master of Triangulation. Clinton was nothing more than the flip-side of George Bush. The bombing of Belgrade was as big a crime as Shock and Awe–although it was cleverly masked behind Clinton’s “Aw shucks” charm and the ever-compliant media.

Clinton sold out the American worker by passing NAFTA. He dismantled the social safety net with his Welfare Reform. He destroyed the last vestiges of the free media by signing the Telecommunications Act. And he revealed his utter lack of principle by refusing to sign the Land Mines Treaty—a document that would have saved the lives of thousands of children every year.

Smart guy—no principles.

Clinton never did anything that wasn’t politically calculated. Hell, he probably had his slide-rule out during his visits with Monica to figure out the exact amount of gratification he could have without feeling guilty. Sure, he was bright and good natured but, his critics are also right–he was utterly devoid of principle. And yet, this is the Democratic Party’s “big hero”; a man who has become the shining example for the future leaders in the party.

What a disaster!

The Democratic Party is not the party that people think it is. This is the party of Rahm Emanuel and the DLC. The leadership is unwaveringly pro-war, pro Israel, and pro free trade. There’s no room for anything else. The Democrats have no intention withdrawing from Iraq. That’s just speculation on the part of blindly-optimistic voters who still believe that their voices will be heard. They won’t be heard. The Democrats will NEVER get us out of Iraq.

The real position of the Dems on Iraq is even MORE IMMORAL than the Republicans. They want to redeploy outside of the country while reducing the number of troops on the ground. In other words, they want to build a “sustainable” model for stealing the world’s second largest petroleum reserves.

It’s a more discreet strategy than Bush’s bloody “surge”, but is any less immoral?

It would be better for the country if the Democratic Party just called it quits and disbanded right now. (although, they appear to be doing a pretty good job of that already)

The party is a bigger obstacle to progressive reform and systemic change than the Republicans.

As long as the Dems continue to trick people into believing that they represent substantive change–or even a serious defense of their vital economic interests–the charade will persist and things will get worse.

Real progressive reform should address the central issues facing, not only Americans, but the entire world—nuclear proliferation, global warming, peak oil, population growth, food supply and disease.

Reform isn’t even part of the Democrat’s agenda. Like their Republican counterparts, they are primarily focused on enriching corporate donors, facilitating free trade, and chasing shadowy Islamic groups through Central Asia and the Middle East.

Real reform would restore progressive taxation by reinstating the brackets that were used during the early 1950s; that is, everyone making over $200,000 per year ($1 million by today’s standards) pays 93% of their earnings! Without a concerted effort to narrow the massive wealth gap through redistribution”the country will continue along its present path to tyranny. Those who have benefited most from the security, infrastructure and prosperity provided by state should naturally pay more. That is the fundamental tenet of progressive taxation and it is essential if we want to strengthen the middle class and “raise all boats” (as the Republicans like to say)

Besides, who’s going to lose sleep over taxing the rich?

A progressive platform should also include a plan to nationalize the oil industry. The record profits from oil production should be going into infrastructure, education and alternate fuels—not fattening the foreign banks accounts of obscenely rich oil moguls. In an age of resource scarcity, we cannot allow the market to decide who will get access to the energy that everyone needs to maintain minimal standards of comfort.

We’ve already seen how big oil is willing to use our children as cannon fodder in their wars of aggression. We’ve also seen how they work tirelessly to confuse the public on crucial issues such as global warming by pumping millions of dollars into bogus science and misleading public relations campaigns. The oil industry operates without a conscience putting its bottom line above the very survival of the species. The best thing to do is “return the favor” by seizing the industry”Hugo Chavez style—and putting it to work for the people it is supposed to serve. If the oil executives still choose to continue the fight for Iraqi oil; we should provide them with sidearms and Kevlar vests and turn them lose in Baghdad. Let them fend for themselves—everyone else comes home.

The country doesn’t need two War Parties run by the same establishment elites. The present system is a fraud which marginalizes 95% of the American people and makes democracy impossible. What we need is a Labor Party that addresses the issues which are critical to working class people. Labor Party affiliation should be the equivalent of union membership”providing a clear statement of support for pensions, universal health care, maternity leave, yearly wage increases tied to productivity, profit sharing, collective bargaining rights and 50% representation on all corporate boards. The goal of a Labor Party should not merely be to live off the scraps from the corporate table, but to share political power in shaping the country’s economic agenda. That’s the only way that we can balance class-based interests and avoid unnecessary future conflicts.

Anyone who thinks politics is just about “making money” is nuts. Political parties emerge to take power—and that should be the objective of Labor—raw political power. Nothing else will do.

What’s needed is a broad coalition of leftist organizations coalescing in a party that represents the objectives of working people.

Labor needs a voice in government and the Democrats are not that voice.

By capitulating to Bush, the Democratic Party has cut the ground out from beneath itself and hastened its own demise. Good riddance. Now, let’s push the rusty hulk out of the road and go forward.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail